Sunday, March 27, 2011


Welcome to Serving Data. Here, we'll be talking about data: what it is, what's it's good for, how to use it, manage it, store it and secure it.

To do all that, we'll need a Database Management System (DBMS). Since I've been tasked with learning Microsoft SQL Server at work, we'll primarily use that for the DBMS.

So, what's with the name? Why not "SQL Server Rocks", or "Living Among the Databases"? Because it's not the database that's important - it's the data. If the database is the kitchen, and the DBA is the chef, then the data are (yes, data is plural) the meats, vegetables, spices, etc. Which is more important: fancy knives and a high-end stove, or the best ingredients? Continuing the analogy, the finished meal that comes out of the kitchen is information. Information is different from data: data is raw facts, information is data plus meaning.

We can complete the food analogy to explain the 'Serving' part (can you tell I like to eat?). The main goal is to serve finished meals to the customers, but the food must be attended to, as well: it has to be stored and handled properly, the kitchen must be kept in good working order, and everything has to kept secure. So DBAs serve end users by making data available, but also serve the data by maintaining it.

So that's how the Serving Data blog came to be. We'll discuss almost anything related to data, and I'll share my experiences as I learn SQL Server 2008. Feel free to share or comment.

Thanks for reading.

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